Photo : The Eleven Media Group
Half a dozen organisations concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Arakan State in Burma issued an open letter to Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, yesterday urging the UN to “intervene and protect a million Rohingya people of Arakan from a planned genocide”.The letter, signed by Maung Kyaw Nu, president of the Burmese Rohingya Association in Thailand (BRAT) said some 800-1,000 people – including women, children and elderly people – have disappeared recently while the death tolls are still being calculated. Rohingya organisations and Thai NGOs, such as the People’s Empowerment Foundation, claim that paramilitary and “racist” Rakhine are burning houses and shooting people, with some being burned alive.
“Rohingya youth are running to hide in the forest. Some are crossing to Bangladesh. All dead and wounded bodies are taken away by the government forces,” the letter said. It added that the Burmese regime plans to “kill and clear all Muslims from Arakan State.”
“We urge immediate action to stop this serious genocide and ethnic cleansing by sending a UN peace keeping force to Arakan to protect innocent people. We urge the UN to send a mission to control the serious situation in Arakan State and save the remaining Rohingyas as quickly as possible,” said the groups. They added that international and Asean intervention to save people’s lives was urgently needed and urged the international media to monitor closely the serious situation in Arakan.
International humanitarian groups, the statement said, should step up their presence in Arakan State to support humanitarian work while the Burmese regime should explain what is going on.
“We also demand the UN constitutes an independent and impartial inquiry commission to investigate these crimes against humanity and bring the culprits to justice,” it concluded.